VAHAGN HAROUTYUNYAN, senior investigator of the Special Investigative Service of the General Prosecutor’s Office and Head of the Investigative Group, was invited to yesterday’s session of the NA interim committee investigating the March 1-2 events. The purpose of his participation was to give details on the circumstances of the prosecution of the 3 MPs who are currently under arrest.
Judging by all, the committee members have finally started acting as the advocates of the people accused of organizing the acts of violence of March 1. Following this logic, yesterday they “cross-examined” the Head of the Investigative Group, in an attempt to presume Sasoun Mikayelyan, Myasnik Malkhasyan and Hakob Hakobyan innocent.
Let’s note at once that V. Haroutyunyan refuted the false allegations that those people were deprived of immunity and arrested without supporting facts and convincing arguments and are now kept in isolation cells in the status of “hostages”, without being interrogated.
With regard to the other defendants charged by Articles 300 and 225 (usurping state power and organizing mass disorders), Head of the Investigative Group said that, “there are sufficient proofs and assumptions that the crime was committed according to a previously agreed plan. In particular, there were sufficient grounds to bring charges against the three MPs, and later additional proofs were obtained as a result of the inquest which is still in process.”
The charge brought against Sasoun Mikayelyan are substantiated “both by the testimonies of a number of witnesses and the large quantity of ammunition recognized as material evidence.” There are no policemen among the witnesses interrogated in that connection; there are only civilians whose testimonies were not published, considering the interests of the inquest.
In any case, due to the “organizational efforts” of Sasoun Mikayelyan, “Iron sticks and clubs were brought to the Freedom Square and were later carried to the territory surrounding Myasnikyan’s Statue and the Mayor’s Office. He called for continuing the acts of violence against the representatives of the authorities with the purpose of usurping power.”
As regards the speculations that the MPs are interrogated in very rare cases, this is simply misinformation, “All the three MPs were interrogated, each of them – from 8 to 10 times. It’s a different matter that all the three of them refused to take part in the interrogation.”
With regard to the fact that the MPs carried out their work in a superficial manner, V Haroutyunyan noted, “How could the activities have lasted long if the person refuses to take part in the process and is reluctant to give testimony. In particular, S Mikayelyan left the interrogation room several times refusing to answer the interrogator’s questions.” All the investigative operations with the accused, including the MPs, were recorded in the registration book in a manner prescribed by law.
According to the Head of the Investigative Group, the MPs and the other people were charged by Article 225, considering that “they involved people in the operations, supplied them with ammunition, called for mass disorders, incited the participants to violence and disseminated provocative information.”
Of the 15 witnesses who gave testimony in connection with Myasnik Malkhasyan’s case, one person was an MP. One of the witnesses confessed that right after the mass disorders, “M. Malkhasyan was seen by some people while passing by the Circus and was asked why they had cancelled the operations and gave an instruction discontinue the activities, and what they were planning to do afterwards. And Malkhasyan answered that this was the right thing to do at that moment, and everything would be clear in future.”
V. Haroutyunyan refuted the V. Malkhasyan’s allegation that no charges were brought against him for 10 days following his arrest, and the color of the “well-known” stick was changed the day after. Instead, he confirmed the fact that their finger-prints were not to be found there because, being in a state of confusion, the policemen passed this attribute – the so-called material evidence, from hand to hand, and conducting a fingerprint expertise was found unnecessary in such circumstances.
There are more charges brought against Hakob Hakobyan. According to the data obtained, he not only provoked the activists into disorders, but also paid for the “special means” used by them. It was due to his “funding” that “bottles filled with easily inflammable liquid were thrown to the policemen, and the people were forced into mass disorders under the threat of being dismissed from their jobs.
With regard to H. Hakobyan’s case, 100 witnesses were interrogated, and there are testimonies substantiating his crime through direct as well as circumstantial evidence. There is also a concrete person who confessed that they had received weapons. Among the dead, there are people who had direct connections with H. Hakobyan; they were recruited by him and complied with his instructions.
All in all, there was a precise role-casting as to who was to incite disorders, who was to procure iron sticks and weapons and who was to distribute them among the “peaceful demonstrators”. All this was organized and supervised by some center, and one of the objectives of the inquest is to find out what center it is,” Head of the investigative group assured the participants.
In response to the question of “Hayots Ashkharh”, V. Haroutyunyan said that the special measures had caused the death of three civilians, and three more people had died as a result of receiving fire-arm injuries; one person had died as a result of an injury caused by a blunt tool, and one was killed by a transparent bullet of unknown calibers. Two of the dead people were military servants; one of them was killed by the explosion of a grenade and the other – by a transparent bullet.
The investigative body has not yet made any decision with regard to the legality of the special measures undertaken; the investigation of the case is in process.